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The Foldable E-Book

The New York Times recently profiled the Readius, a foldable reader that uses e-ink and wireless communication so you can read books, magazines, and emails on a 5″ diagonal screen, from a device about the size of a cell phone when folded.

It begins its life in Europe, and is scheduled to appear in the US in early 2009.

This is apparently just the beginning of a flurry of devices with flexible screens, wireless integration, and even richer displays.

Let the games begin!

About Kent Anderson

I am the Founder of Caldera Publishing Solutions, a consultancy specializing in informed growth and smart strategy for academic, scientific, and scholarly publishers. I have worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of the STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are my own.


6 thoughts on “The Foldable E-Book

  1. Most of the manufactures I have spoken with point toward the tablet or small foot-print notebooks as the birth. With a few years of production under their belt the “hinge” or twist screen has taken on new directions.

    They were hesitant in the beginning to create something so product centric. Especially when the US market had such a tough time adjusting to E-book format and digital downloads.

    The additional devices follows the lead cell phones have created – multi-use unit. Having a larger screen on a small device was the first feedback issue they targeted.

    Posted by John Feeney | Jul 18, 2008, 11:16 am
  2. Europe always gets the good toys first.

    Posted by jeremy | Jul 18, 2008, 12:42 pm
  3. I do not understand the appeal of the flexible screen in the context of reading. Maps — maybe. But not as applied to a book.

    Posted by Jill | Jul 18, 2008, 2:56 pm
  4. Flexible screen is a good idea in light of portability… It might make it possible for people to carry larger screen ebook devices with smaller footprint than ever.

    I am really looking forward to this. I already have first and second generation Sony ebook readers, and they really do change the way people read. Now if only the publishing interests can decide on some ubiquitous format without ridiculous limitations…

    Posted by bookhling | Jul 18, 2008, 10:57 pm
  5. I don’t understand the appeal of the e-book premise at all. I love books – i love the cover art, the feel of the pages – in other words its very nature.

    I don’t see people who love books actually getting in to this.

    Posted by goldnsilver | Jul 19, 2008, 4:16 am
  6. i love books, and i would actually get into this. i had a back spasm a few weeks ago carrying infinite jest in my bag. it would be nice to read huge novels *comfortably* during my commute. also on my reading list: atlas shrugged, dark sun, jonathan strange & mr. norrell. i’d like to have an extensive dictionary, with on-board searchability, should i spontaneously wonder about the history of a word. i love printed books enough to hate how trashed they get knocking around in my bag. if i were a college student, i’d love to have my science textbooks with me all at one time, and highlightable/annotatable. as much as i love printed books, i have to say that i did not have that precise love affair with my college biology text.

    i will never willingly give up print entirely. but e-ink readers are getting pretty great. i like that folding readers are being developed — for the same reason that i like books bound in boards. to protect the unit’s tender entrails.

    once e-ink readers exist in color, come down in price, and — huge ‘if’ here — *i* get ‘right of first sale’ on the books i purchase and load, i will want one. (but not before.)

    Posted by thorn | Jul 20, 2008, 2:25 pm

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
The Scholarly Kitchen is a moderated and independent blog. Opinions on The Scholarly Kitchen are those of the authors. They are not necessarily those held by the Society for Scholarly Publishing nor by their respective employers.

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